Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites are a great green marketing tool for any business hoping to raise visibility, connect with existing customers and gain new clients. However, they are only one piece of your green marketing plan. Your website should be considered home base for all your marketing efforts. A good social media marketing plan brings social media tools into your website and integrates them with your email and print marketing strategies.
Integrating social media tools into your website can be done relatively easily, although most require the use of codes, so it does help to have some basic knowledge of whichever web development software your site runs on.
Linking and Buttons
The easiest and most basic way to integrate social media tools is by linking. The more links you create out, the more opportunities you create for traffic to come in.
You should be including links of your website’s URL absolutely everywhere: your email signature, your company’s Facebook fan page and even in your Twitter feed.
If you’re using social media tools, you can also use buttons on your homepage to create links out. Most social media sites provide approved buttons for you. Here are links to buttons from the two most popular:
Some people can be regular readers of your green business blog and never visit your actual website. If your green business also has a blog, make a home for it on your homepage. Most blog software will create an RSS feed for you automatically. However, if you have a static website, you will need to generate code and add it into your website. In most cases this can be done by copying the URL for your blog feed and inserting it into your website, with a few small tweaks.
Another way to integrate social media tools is by utilizing social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious, just to name a few. These sites allow users to share, recommend and rank content. Each time you update your website, create a new page or write a blog post, submit it to your social bookmarking site of choice (or use a service like SocialMarker or Socializer to easily submit to multiple sites) and let readers do a piece of the marketing load for you.
One final thing to remember is that the most important component of any green marketing plan is content. Before you spend a lot of energy into creating an integrated social media strategy, you should be prepared to produce high quality content across all the media tools you choose to use. The ultimate goal of using social media should be to drive traffic to your website, where having fresh content is key. Bringing social media components into your website is a good way to ensure that there is enough content and other activities to keep people interested.